Friday, May 16, 2008

Amputee Sprinter Defies the Odds

Panel Backs Amputee Sprinter’s Olympic Bid

A double-amputee sprinter will be allowed to qualify for the Olympic games after previously being bared from able-bodied competition in January.

Known as the "Blade Runner" and "the fastest man with no legs," 21 year old South Africa Oscar Pistorius has beating the odds his whole life. His legs were amputated when he was 11 months due to a congenital defect. However, at the age of 21 he has set Paralympic world records and now he is looking to enter into able-bodied competition.

Unfortunately, Pistorius ran into problems when his prosthetics were deemed to have been more efficient than a human ankle. In addition the prosthetics also return energy in maximum speed sprinting and he expended less energy while keeping up with some sprinters. With this information it seemed that International Association of Athletics Federations would prevent him from playing. Luckily, he had some good lawyers and a decision was made in his favor.

Its a thin line or rather confusing line between being disabled and being too-abled as described in one New York Times article. Oscar doesn't see himself as being disabled and he believes that there's nothing he can't do that able-bodied athletes can do. I think he has the right idea when he thinks about his situation. Granted, self-esteem, confidence and motivation don't grow on trees. Oscar may have been given a special gift. It is not a gift of endurance or strong muscles in his legs or money or support but of an inner passion that defies the conditions set forth around him. A powerful skill that I wish all those who disabled or abled or just feeling blue could have in the face of obstacles.

Check out this link: How Oscar's Prothestic Legs Work

New York Times

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